Dwayne Roloson, not Sebastien Caron, starts in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Bruins
It was 2 o’clock Tuesday morning when Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he made the decision to give Dwayne Roloson the start tonight against the Bruins in Boston. Originally, Sebastien Caron was to get his first Lightning start. But Roloson has played so well in a three-game winning streak – a 2.59 goals-against average and .928 save percentage – Boucher said he saw no other choice.
“He deserves it,” Boucher said.
Roloson, 42, looks like a different goalie during his three-game streak and was particularly sharp in Monday's 5-3 win over the Flyers in which he made 35 saves as Tampa Bay was outshot 38-15. Boucher claims it is because Roloson and goaltenders coach Frantz Jean have found a way to “calm” Roloson’s game.
Roloson, who is 11-14-2 in 35 games with a 3.66 goals-against average and .886 save percentage, said, without being specific, credits a change in some drills he has been doing.
“Just strictly doing the drills I had normally done and focusing on that,” he said.
Whatever the reason, Boucher said he could not take the net away from Roloson after Monday's effort. It just took him until 2 a.m. Tuesday after the plane ride from Philadelphia to Boston to figure it out.
It will be the first time this season Roloson starts both ends of a back-to-back.
Other stuff: Center Vinny Lecavalier (fractured hand) and center Nate Thompson (upper body) seem to be shooting for a Thursday comeback. … It sounds as if defenseman Victor Hedman, a late scratch Monday due to illness, will be able to play. … The Lightning has won the past two times it played the second of back-to-back games to raise its season record to 4-4-0. Boucher said it is a matter of playing a structured, simple and patient game. That said, the Lightning is facing a Boston team that had Monday off and is likely itching to get back at the Lightning after consecutive losses in Tampa by a combined score of 11-4. “It’s going to take another miracle tonight for us,” Boucher said. … Yes, Tampa Bay is shorthanded because of injuries and trades, but it has to find a few more shots. The team has been outshot in its past four games 149-89.